With the holidays coming up, many of us are hosting friends and family for a few nights. So we reached out to two great design firms to learn their tricks for designing a great guest room. You may recognize Kara Smith of SFA Design from our most recent issue of Rue Magazine. Kara has worked on private residences, as well as luxury hotels, so is full of tips for a great night’s sleep. We also got tips from Melissa Warner Rothblum and Julie Massucco Kleiner of Massucco Warner Miller, a West-Coast based residential firm known for their bold use of color and rich textures.

Whether you have dedicated guest room or are moving the kids to the floor while Grandma is over, we have advice that will have your guests feeling right at home.

“A great tip for guest rooms is to use fresh white linens and add in a touch of plaid!” says Kara Smith. “I love the use of neutral plaids during the holiday season, it offers a modern and festive nod to the holiday season.”

“Beautiful bed linens are a must have for any guest room.” The team at Massucco Warner Miller recommends, “when leveraging a child’s room to house guests, it’s a great idea to have a separate set of linens that add a bit of sophistication. (Your brother doesn’t really want to spend his holiday vacation sleeping on My Little Pony/Pokémon sheets) Bonus points for said linens to be professionally laundered & pressed- it’s a small touch but very luxurious.”

“Make sure you have a cozy throw handy in case your guest gets chilly,” advises Kara Smith. “I’m coveting this soft and textured dark grey mohair throw.”

“Space permitting,” Massucco Warner Miller’s designers suggest, “placing a bench (can be repurposed from another room) or folding luggage rack in the bedroom or closet, for guests to put suitcases on and access easily.”

A quick cleanup makes all the difference. “It may seem basic, but putting toys away and clearing a bit of space on nightstands and even a dresser drawer really helps your guests feel welcome in the space. And don’t forget to put tub toys away and leave space in the bathroom vanity, too!” – Massucco Warner Miller

What both designer agree about? A welcoming guest room is all about the little details. “We love to put some reading material on the night stand along with bottled water and the WiFi password, and a bit of holiday greenery or small flower arrangement,” says the team behind Massucco Warner Miller. Kara agrees, suggesting items “like lavender bed spray, candle, and bottled water.”

See their advice in action in the slideshow!